The group has established itself through a series of investments and acquisitions that started in 1992. The key events, which have led to the group emerging as Europe’s largest floorcovering distribution, are presented below:
In March, the group acquired the business and certain assets of Hall’s Floorings Limited, a distributor of residential floorcovering based in Edmonton, north London, and a supplier to independent floorcovering retailers throughout most of England.
In August, the group acquired 100% of the issued share capital of Flooring Accessories Limited, a distributor of residential and commercial floorcovering, principally in South Wales. The primary reason for this acquisition is for the group to enhance its position in the south of Wales.
In December, the group acquired the trade and assets of C. K. Davie Limited, a distributor of residential and commercial floorcovering, principally in the north of Scotland. The primary reason for this acquisition is for the group to enhance its position in the Scottish floorcovering market.
In November, the group completed the extension to the Tamworth distribution centre. The entire 160,200 sq ft site is now fully operational and will allow our Residential and Commercial specialist businesses to further develop their activities in the middle to higher market sectors they serve.
Construction has commenced to significantly enlarge the Coleshill distribution centre from 159,500 sq ft to 283,800 sq ft. This will provide the capacity to increase our central stock holding in certain product sectors to satisfy the demand from our regional distribution centres and manage our future working capital investment on a more efficient basis. The first phase will be ready for handover in March 2013 and the total project will be completed by January 2014.
The introduction of iPads, in conjunction with the development of bespoke software, has given our sales people improved visibility of real time customer data, the ability to access stock files to place orders and provides an immediate flow of information on customer visits to our sales managers. Our businesses’ extensive marketing literature and display information can be contained within the iPad for efficient demonstration to our customers.
We have launched the iPad initiative in the Netherlands and intend to extend it to France and Switzerland during 2012.
In May, the group completed the purchase of a 110,000 sq ft freehold distribution centre located in Rochdale, to provide National Carpets with the increased capacity needed to expand its activities.
The group launched the Lifestyle Floors brand through its Regional and National multi-product businesses.
In the spring, the group completed the construction of a new freehold 42,000 sq ft distribution centre for MCD Wales in Bridgend. This enabled MCD Wales to increase its residential and commercial business in South Wales and the south west of England.
In July, the group launched the consumer internet gateway, yourfloors.co.uk. The yourfloors facililty creates an opportunity for independent flooring retailers to take advantage of the increasing trend for consumers to purchase online.
In the Netherlands, the construction of a new purpose built freehold 65,000 sq ft distribution centre was completed enabling the Dutch businesses to enhance their product offering and increase their service levels. In November 2008, the group extended its presence in the Dutch market through the acquisition of Silvester which was subsequently relocated to the new Dutch distribution centre.
In March, the group acquired 3D Flooring Supplies Limited, a Regional commercial floorcovering business located in South Wales and the southwest of England.
In April, the group acquired Florprotec Limited, a Commercial specialist business and a leading supplier of floor protection products throughout the UK for the construction industry and refurbishment projects.
In July, The Plantation Rug Company, a Residential specialist business supplying rugs to independent retailers throughout the UK was acquired. Plantation operates autonomously from the Stockport distribution centre and complements the groups existing activities in rugs.
In October, the group acquired the business of Concept (Midlands) Limited, a Regional commercial floorcovering business based in West Bromwich.
During 2006, a 105,000 sq ft freehold distribution centre was completed to re-house Wilkies, the group’s Regional multi-product business based in Leeds. The investment enabled Wilkies to develop further its residential and commercial business in the north of England.
In January, the group acquired Clarendon Carpets, a Residential specialist business, further complementing the group’s presence in the premium sector of high quality woollen products.
In April, the group further increased its presence in the Residential specialist market through the acquisition of Gaskell Flooring, a business trading as Gaskell Wool Rich and Tompkinson Carpets
In April, a new freehold distribution centre, providing 147,000 sq ft capacity, became operational in Tamworth. The investment also included a major step forward in the development of efficient material handling with the installation of an automated despatch sorting system which improves the ease and efficiency in the processing and storage of customer orders prior to loading onto delivery vehicles.
During the year, the group acquired National Carpets, a Residential specialist business, which provided an opportunity to further develop its business in the UK DIY sector.
The acquisition of Kingsmead Carpets, a Residential specialist business, in the autumn of 2004 enlarged the group’s presence in high quality woollen products.
During the autumn, the group’s National multi-product floorcovering distributor, Mercado, was re-housed into a new purpose built 185,000 sq ft long-leasehold distribution centre in Leeds, providing a substantial increase in capacity and significant improvements in operating efficiency both of which enabled the business to provide an enhanced service to its customers.
Extensions were completed to the group’s distribution centres in Glasgow and Nottingham increasing their capacity to 60,000 sq ft and 85,000 sq ft respectively.
During October, the group strengthened its product offering in high quality woollen carpets through the acquisition of a Residential specialist business, Manx Carpets.
The acquisitions of HBS Floortrade, a Regional multi-product distributor of floorcoverings and Betrex Supplies, a Regional commercial floorcovering business, in early 2002 were followed, in April, by the acquisition of DJ Hann, a Regional multi-product distributor of floorcovering which was later relocated to the group’s distribution facility in Thatcham.
Crucial Trading, the UK’s leading supplier of natural floorcovering, was acquired in May and now operates from the group’s Coleshill distribution centre.
In October, GAAS Flooring Distributors, a Regional commercial floorcovering business located in Cambridge and Watford was acquired and relocated to the group’s distribution facility in Bedford.
In November the group acquired Floorsales, a Regional commercial floorcovering business based in Belfast, which was relocated to a purpose built 23,000 sq ft long leasehold distribution centre in 2003.
In December, the group acquired its first Residential specialist business, Georgian Carpets, supplying luxury wool rich tufted carpets.
The group also launched its business to business websites allowing customers to access real time stock files and place orders directly into the logistics processing system at each of the group’s businesses.
In January, the acquisition of Belcolor AG Flooring (‘Belcolor’), the second largest National multi-product distributor in Switzerland marked the third acquisition in Continental Europe extending the group’s international presence.
The group also completed the purchase of James Clifford and Son Limited trading as Clifford Carpets, a Regional multi-product floorcoverings distributor based in Kent in January. The business was relocated to the group’s distribution centre in Rochester.
In February, the group’s Stockport businesses relocated to a purpose built leasehold distribution facility of 58,000 sq ft. During 2004 the freehold was purchased and the building was later extended in 2005 to 78,000 sq ft.
In late March, the West Midlands based businesses of KJC and Headlam moved into a 159,000 sq ft. purpose built freehold distribution centre based at Coleshill near Birmingham. The Headlam business was later renamed Centralflooring distributors.
In February, the group acquired Joseph Hamilton & Seaton (‘JHS’), a Commercial specialist floorcovering business based in Tamworth.
In June, the group acquired La Maison du Sol (‘LMS’), the largest National multi-product floorcovering distributor in France. In July there was a further acquisition of Haldon Thompsons, a Regional commercial floorcovering business which was relocated to the Stockport distribution facility.
Kersaint Cobb & Company was acquired in 1998, a National residential specialist floorcovering business offering one of the widest selections of quality natural and pure wool floorcoverings. Kersaint Cobb & Company operates from our Coleshill distribution centre.
In September, the group acquired MCD Group Limited significantly expanding its floorcovering distribution activities and elevating it to the largest floorcovering distributor in Europe. MCD Group Limited was comprised of ten Regional multi-product floorcovering businesses which complemented the group’s existing regional geographic spread.
The acquisition of Mercado during 1996, a National multi-product floorcovering distributor, provided the group with national coverage throughout England and Wales. Mercado was further enlarged when Richards, a Regional commercial floorcovering business located in Bristol and LGS, a Regional commercial floorcovering business located in Newcastle, were acquired during 1998 and 2000.
The acquisitions of Lethem Vergeer and Interplan, National multi-product distributors based in the Netherlands, represented the group’s first step into Continental Europe.
The opening of new purpose built distribution centres in Thatcham and Bedford, 75,000 sq ft and 52,000 sq ft respectively, allowed the group to enhance existing customer service from the two facilities because of increased stock investment, extended product ranges and improved operating efficiencies.
An extension to the Thatcham distribution centre, completed in June 2005, increased capacity from 75,000 sq ft to 98,000 sq ft.
During April, the group acquired, Shulman & Sons Limited, a Regional multi-product floorcovering distribution business based in Glasgow and KJC Carpets Limited, a Regional multi-product floorcovering distributor based in West Bromwich.
Shulman & Sons was merged with the group’s existing business in Glasgow and in 2003 the businesses moved to a new 61,000 sq ft purpose built distribution centre and thereafter, traded as Headlam.
During 1992, the group acquired five Regional multi-product floorcovering businesses located in Stockport, Hadleigh, Thatcham, Bedford and Glasgow and one Regional commercial floorcovering business located in Newcastle from Hickson Flooring Distributors Limited. The businesses were respectively known as, Hadfields, Faithfull, Florco and Beds Flooring. The businesses in Glasgow and Newcastle were renamed Headlam.
A further Regional commercial floorcovering business, Garrods, was acquired and relocated to Hadleigh and during May, a new distribution facility, located in Redditch, was acquired to accommodate the group’s green field start up Regional multi-product floorcovering businesses, which commenced trading as Headlam.